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Jan 23, 2020

What Does Investment Rating Mean for Belize Bank?

Lyndon Guiseppi

The assigned rating augurs well for other local companies wishing to improve their profiles on the regional and international markets.  It is in line with some of the more prominent and larger regional banks across the Caribbean and thus provides a platform to attract talent across the region, as well as to assist initiatives to raise capital going forward.


Lyndon Guiseppi, Executive Chairman, Belize Bank

“The rating essentially is an exercise in which a group of professionals, mostly finance individuals, would come in and look at the overall operations of the bank from a technical standpoint.  They would interview the executive, they also interviewed junior staff and they would then compare the performance of this bank against certain key benchmark ratios.  For instance, some of the things they would look at is the level of capitalization in the bank.  Do we have sufficient capital to operate?  They would look at the quality of the loan portfolio, what is our non-performing ratio?  Are we overexposed in one industry as opposed to another?  They would look at our efficiency ratio, I mean, how efficient is the bank in terms of its expenses to income ratio.  They would also look at the quality of staff and the caliber of staff that the bank has.  And then, looking at these parameters they would compare us to other banking entities across the Caribbean, whether in Jamaica, Barbados or Trinidad.  And having done that exercise, CariCRIS was able to adjudicate that the Belize Bank has investment grade rating, essentially what that means is that we can compare, in terms of all of those parameters that I’ve outlined, with the top banks across the Caribbean.  We’re not the same size as those banks, but in terms of the quality of our assets, in terms of our return on assets, in terms of our return on equity, in terms of our efficiency ratio we are comparable to the top regional banks.  That rating then allows us to go to the public whether in Belize or in the Caribbean and to advertise ourselves to raise capital.  It says that we are as strong as our peers across the Caribbean.”

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